When I was little, pre-school, I would hop off the wooden pews every Sunday to make my way over to the place where Clarice Lemley sat. Clarice, was in my mind, exactly Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith show. She was plump and grey headed and wore flowered dresses. And she always had gum to give to kids who asked for a piece. She also had a beautiful garden and made a mean pot roast with gravy and mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner.
Clarice is one those women who influenced my life without trying. She was just her kind self. She made me feel welcome. And she evoked a desire to make something delicious and beautiful.
Today at church, a smiling, silver-headed woman, asked me about my week and listened as I shared my current struggle with the transition into mothering young adults. She shared some of her experience and hugged me.
This kind of modeling and engaging conversations between generations is something I value and deeply desire. When I experience it, I feel built up. I feel connected to something greater than me and my circumstances. I’m part of a one-anotherness. A community. I need the elders and I need the young-ones too. And they need me.
I hope to be a Clarice to children growing up in the church where I teach them in Sunday school, and sing with them on the front row. And I want to be the woman who hugged me and encouraged me today from her place a few years up the road in motherhood.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.– 1 Thessalonians 5:11